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India to host virtual SCO summit on Tuesday

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will chair the summit, will deliver a welcoming speech

NEW DELHI, July 4. /TASS/. The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries will take part in a meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State via video link on Tuesday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will chair the summit, will deliver a welcoming address, India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

The theme of the summit is "Towards a SECURE SCO," where S stands for security for citizens, E - economic development, C - connectivity in the region, U - unity, R - respect of sovereignty and integrity, and E means environment protection. The summit is expected to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, Ukraine and efforts to expand cooperation between member countries.

All SCO members have been invited to attend. Besides, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia will take part as observer states, and Turkmenistan will participate as a guest. Among other attendees, there will be the heads of the SCO Secretariat and the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, RATS. Also, invitations have been sent out to the heads of six international and regional organizations, the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

Russian President Vladimir Putin will also address the summit. Kremlin Aide Yury Ushakov said earlier that Moscow views the association as a priority. According to the Kremlin spokesman, Putin "will work with his SCO counterparts all day long."

The Russian leader has repeatedly said that, today, the SCO is the world’s largest regional organization which has been having an increasingly prominent voice in global affairs. The association does its joint work selflessly, based on the respect for sovereignty, national values and interests, Putin said. According to him, this opens up broad prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation in politics, and the economy, as well as in cultural, humanitarian and other fields.